in Horror Movie Reviews

And Soon The Darkness 1970 Review

Am so excited to finally get the new Studio Canal Blu Ray release of one of my all time favourite films: And Soon The Darkness (1970). And, I must say, what an utterly fantastic release it is too.

Directed by Robert Fuest and often referred to by many people as “the movie where the two girls are on a cycling holiday in France”, And Soon The Darkness tells the chilling story of what happens to two young (and stunningly attractive) English nurses: Jane (Pamela Franklin) and Cathy (Michelle Dotrice), during their cycling holiday in the French countryside. As the story opens, they encounter a rather strange, mysterious man by the name of Paul (Sandor Eles), who seems to have taken a rather fixated interest in them. Whilst Cathy becomes quite fascinated by this stranger, Jane does not share her friend’s feelings, and just wants to continue on with their cycling journey. Jane also becomes rather suspicious of the man, much to Cathy’s irritation.

After becoming embroiled in a rather bitter argument, with Cathy wanting to remain in the woods luxuriating in the sun whilst Jane just wants to move on, the two girls split up. However, when Jane goes back to the village where they are staying, she discovers that her friend has mysteriously disappeared.

Jane then embarks on a desperate, painstaking search for her missing friend amid an atmosphere of growing unease and menace. She eventually has to call on the help of the local police officer (John Nettleton), who cycles off to the woods in the hope of finding some clues that might throw some light on her missing friend’s whereabouts. But as the onset of darkness draws nearer and nearer, and Jane finds herself in a frighteningly unfamiliar and ominous world, the overriding question is: will she find Cathy in time? But more seriously: will she find Cathy at all?

There are so many things I absolutely LOVE about And Soon The Darkness. All the actors are brilliant in their roles, and propel the storyline along with flawless ability. Also, I always enjoy a good red herring in a movie, and this one offers THREE to satiate my taste. And the scenic setting of the French countryside – which, at times, due to its sheer empty vastness, lends a rather eerie ambience to the story – is just gorgeous to look at in this top quality Blu Ray transfer. I also love the fact that the exact nature of who is on the side of good and who isn’t is made quite ambiguous until the film’s climax. This is how a good suspense thriller SHOULD be made, and full marks to Brian Clemens (who has always been my favourite TV scriptwriter) and Terry Nation for their excellent collaborative efforts here.

I first watched And Soon The Darkness way back in the seventies, when it was often shown on late night TV. And every time it was repeated, I always watched it again and again, as the movie was that good that I just never got tired of revisiting it. I certainly never dreamed, though, that one day I would actually own this classic of British cinema in my movie collection – not least in the glorious hi-definition of Blu Ray – to watch whenever I wanted to.

Studio Canal really have done an excellent job here in this new Blu Ray transfer, for the picture quality is much superior to the DVD. As well as the movie, the disc has some enjoyable special features, which comprise of an interview with Kim Newman, Audio Commentary by Brian Clemens and Robert Fuest, and Audio Commentary by film historian Troy Howarth.

If you love And Soon The Darkness as much as I do, then I highly recommend you treat yourself to a copy of this brilliant Blu Ray release by Studio Canal. Believe me, you will be very glad that you did.

You can buy And Soon The Darkness on Blu Ray now by clicking on the image link above this article.

Alan Toner
www.alantoner.com